Piano / Keyboard Lead sounds

marcelkennard

Storms comin in Annie
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#1
I'm pretty sick and tired with Logic's built in Piano...
Do any of you guys have any good recommendations for coo piano or keyboard sounds? Or any production tips regarding processing and optimum frequency content for these kind of higher pitched keys, like for example the ones netsky often uses
 

lostnthesound

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#2
Are you referring to the EXS24 piano/keyboard sounds or the ES2 piano keys/sounds? My guess is probably both :)

I know what you mean about being a bit underwhelmed with the keys after awhile – I started having a similar issue. However, I began to think of those default piano sounds as just the "draft" of the overall sound I'm trying to achieve. I find that adding effects (such as a properly mixed bitcrusher, izotope's FREE vinyl plugin, ring modulator, speaker rotary, delay) add the right amount of warmth and/or grime that I'm looking for to change up the sound's color a bit. Also, reverb experimentation (even the EnVerb) can be quite effective, though I'd recommend pluggin the reverb in a bus and then sending the piano to that bus for maximum control.

If you haven't already, try this in the ES2: loading up a preset piano/keyboard and mess around a bit with the macro controls at the bottom of the interface - it's a quick and effective way to dramatically change up the timbre.

As far as optimum frequency range, it's really up to you. If its an intro piano or if you're looking for your keys to sound like a warm pad, you may want to keep the low end warmth by rolling off (or high passing) frequencies below 200-250 to keep them from interfering with the low end while keeping a bit of depth. If you want the piano to act more as a lead sound, I'd probably use the higher octave notes and then EQ to taste. Some people roll of the upper frequcies to get a less sharp sounding keyboard, while some increase the higher frequencies for a bit more sparkle and edge. Also, the EXS24 and ES2 piano sounds seem to be very keen to velocity, so you can always use the transform>random velocity MIDI function to add a varying pressure thoughout the notes for a more "humanized" feel.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.
 
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marcelkennard

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#3
wicked mate thanks for the post, I completely agree that its probably best to just focus more on effecting the sounds in a better way like you suggested, I'm gonna have to give that random velocity thing a go for sure, didnt realise there was such an easy way to do it, cheers for the help...
And by the way I was referring mainly to the acoustic pianos in logic! But I'm starting to think maybe I should be looking more at the more keyboard like sounds of the es2 now and play around with them
 

lostnthesound

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#5
This is great useful information for piano sounds! Now are these piano plugins you mention exclusive to Logic or what?
Indeed the es2 synth and exs24 sampler are logic exclusive. However I'm confident that the same principles in terms of sound shaping can be done with any DAWs native synth and/or sampler. It's definitely worth experimenting with IMO.

Cheers.
 

groelle

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#6
theres a free vst called general that i use quite often, slap some reverb on, some eq and its pretty good imo.

other than that romplers and multisamples are the way to go. ie nexus or kontakt + NI keys or something like that. isnt cheap tho ://

quite a few samples out there you could put into a sampler yourself aswell, putting some FX on will always be neccessary either way..
 
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